My Favorite Card Tricks: Joshua Jay

By Alex Robertson - Thursday, July 9, 2020

We asked some of our team to share with us their favorite card tricks. This week is the turn of Joshua Jay. You may know him from his hit DVDs or from being one of the Vanishing Inc co-founders! Over to Josh:


Haunted Pack: I use a version shown to me by John George, created by Steve Valentine. My only touch is that I slow it down 20x the way most people do it. The animation lasts--I'm not kidding--15-20 seconds. I've never seen anyone else do Haunted Pack that slowly, but I find it's more believable and amazing when the deck very, very, very slowly cuts itself, and the card eventually turns over. This is the most practical of the thread methods, because it uses loops and ends totally clean (in the more popular version, you end with the loop still looped around the deck). I teach this on my DVD set, Unreal.

Back in Time: Years ago I sought out to combine my two favorite Triumph routines. The first is Bill Goodwin and Larry Jennings' seminal Triumph handling with the marvelous display of an elongated pack CLEARLY being mixed face up and face down. The second routine is Jay Sankey's "Back in Time" themed Triumph. Sankey had, I felt, the best-ever presentation for Triumph, but he used a fairly standard handling that involved Sid Lorraine's Slop Shuffle sequence. So, I had my favorite "technical" handling and tried to combine it with my favorite theme and presentation. The result is "Back in Time," which is a complete performance piece. It happens entirely in the hands, with a shuffled deck, and has a presentation that I believe engages people from start to finish. This is also on Unreal.

Wrong Card, Right Card. It seems every magician has a handling of the classic pick-a-card effect in which you find the wrong card and magically change it into the right one. Like most others, I use a top change to effect the magic moment, and my handling is as direct and basic as I can make it. But I don't think I have to stress to you the awesome power of a simple card change, if you choose your moment wisely and carry out the technique imperceptibly.

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